DHS girls earn highest tournament finish in program history
FARGO — After capturing the program's first tournament victory the night before, the Dickinson High girls hockey team made more history as it completed its season over the weekend.
Behind a hat trick from junior forward Kennedy Kuntz, the Midgets defeated Minot 4-1 in the fifth place game of the 2018 girls state hockey tournament on Saturday, Feb. 24 from the Olympic Arena.
Dickinson's fifth-place finish is the best tournament placement in school history.
"Big weekend for us," Midgets head coach Al Takle said. "As a program, we've been trying to build and build and get better. Holding Bismarck to three goals, that was as good as anybody did at the tournament and that was a good way for us to start. Beating Grand Forks, that's the first time we've been able to beat one of what I refer to as the 'Super Co-ops,' very significant for us there. And then to beat a Minot team that has dominated us over the years, it was fun to get over that hump as well."
Just 90 seconds before the first intermission, the Midgets got on the board when junior forward Kamryn Kuntz and sophomore forward Ali Lafond assisted a goal from Kennedy Kuntz.
With 4:50 remaining in the second period, the Majettes responded with a score from sophomore forward Kaya Shaw.
Assisted again by Lafond with just under ten minutes remaining in regulation, Kennedy Kuntz' second goal past freshman goaltender Amber Borkhuis proved to be the game-winner.
Sophomore defender Taia Klaman added to the Midgets cushion with an unassisted score late in the third period while in the final minute, Kuntz finished off her hat trick with an empty-netter. The final goal of the Dickinson season was Kuntz' fourth goal of the tournament.
"Kennedy's a kid that plays hard all the time," Takle said. "She's going 100 miles per hour all the time and really puts in a ton of effort. Her ability to get on the score sheet this weekend speaks to the hard work that she puts in, not just in the last week of the season, but it speaks to how hard she works throughout the year to make herself a better athlete."
Borkhuis collected 14 saves in net while her counterpart, Midgets junior goaltender Baylee Kram, stoned 16 of her 35 saves in the third period.
In her three tournament starts, Kram stopped a combined 101 of 106 shots on goal.
"For the past weekend and for the whole year, she's the bedrock of our whole team," Takle said. "She's the one that keeps us in games and we just have ultimate confidence in her. She just continues to get better all the time, works really hard at her craft of being a goalie and just had an outstanding tournament."
Klaman was selected to the All-Tournament team for her work as a defender. She was the lone selection outside of state champion Bismarck and Fargo North/South, the state runner up.
"I was really surprised because I didn't know if I'd be chosen," Klaman said. "It felt really good and made me realize how good of a season and tournament it was. It helped me realize how much I accomplished this year and how much I've improved since last year."
Dickinson High 4, Minot High 1
D 1 0 3 — 4
M 0 1 0 — 1
FIRST PERIOD: 1, D, Kennedy Kuntz (Kamryn Kuntz, Ali Lafond), 15:30.
SECOND PERIOD: 1, M, Kaya Shaw (Maggie Sem, Dessa Flom), 12:10.
THIRD PERIOD: 1, D, Ke. Kuntz (Lafond), 7:06. 2, D, Taia Klaman, 15:23. 3, D, Ke. Kuntz, 16:23
SAVES: D, Baylee Kram 7-12-16—35. M, Amber Borkhuis 1-5-8—14.